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of social compact? This, of course, is the important practical question, being connected with every condition in which man may be placed, whether that condition be the commencement of his career in the formation of a national interest, or any advanced condition of civilisation to which he may have attained. I will now proceed to give a further elucidation of the subject.
Upon recurring to the origin of the system which I have already delineated, we discern, respecting the first movement, or principle of action involved in it, that the superabundant production of A became a matter of advantage or profit to him when B presented another production in exchange for it, that is, demanded it. The same advantage accruing in the case of B. The profit being constituted of that which each produced over and above what he required for himself. Thus, it is evident that the superabundant production of A, or his profit, marked out the degree of advancement emanating from the exertions of A and B. So, again, on the formation of a third division, or C. The increase of stock, that is, the profit of A and B, measured out or determined the degree of advancement or improvement to be undertaken. The third division having been effected or established successfully, and an increase taking place in all, the aggregate of this increase, which is called profit, formed again the fund by means of which a further advancement might be made; and so, I contend, the principle thus developed must continue its operation throughout any given series of exchanges. Just so much change, additional advancement or improvement, may be made; more cannot be made. Thus, it has been established that stock, or capital, being the means whereby population is sustained, it must have PRECEDENCE of population, and be so continued in advance of it. The increase of capital, then, or that which is denominated profit, in
dicates or marks out the exact limit of the power to effect improvement or changes. If this law of degree, as applicable to each commodity in its own separate character, and so comprehending the general body of capital, be observed, a sound system will be in operation, exemplifying the two great points desired; namely, abundant production on the one hand, and right or beneficial distribution, on the other, effected by a just exercise and operation of the law of demand.
If a nation should observe that course of action which I have marked out, a sufficiency would be secured for all the members, and such nation would then be in a state to afford a sacrifice, or expenditure, of a portion of its capital. The manner of doing this would then become a question of general state policy. It might be wise to adopt, by means of this surplus stock or capital, the substitution of mechanical power for manual labour; or to exchange a portion of production made by the labour of the community, for a portion of another production procured by the labour of another community, that is, to encourage or extend foreign trade; or, in fact, improvement of the physical condition, in any other way, might be accomplished. But, in whatever new direction industry might be applied, the law which I have developed should be adhered to, for the purpose of preserving in the change the existing rights of all; or, if an encroachment be made, an equivalent derived from the surplus fund should be granted, thus fulfilling the great moral law of justice. If a nation should do contrary to this, and should decide upon importing, for the sake of more pleasant and luxurious consumption, a commodity which was not to be procured amongst its own people; and, in effecting such or any other change, should disregard the established rights of any of its own people,—the case of such a nation would be precisely as that
of the parents of a family who should be detected in regaling themselves with wine whilst they permitted their children to be in want of food. Let the children be well taken care of in the first place, and then the moderate and proper enjoyment of wine would be in conformity with right, or the law of God. Thus, to whichever side we turn, or whatever subject we reflect on and examine, we are met at every step of our progress by the all-influential law which I have introduced; namely, that of proportion or degree.
By the entire matter of argument which I have now advanced, I contend that the principle of union, co-operation, or conjunction, is shown to be the law which has been ordained by the Creator for forming and preserving the strength and prosperity of nations. It will be perceived, that the principle thus affixed to social progressive motion is, in its nature, analogous with the laws which govern matter in general. In order to produce and to preserve constructive harmony, a strict combination, due proportion, and co-movement, of parts are necessary; and, in contradistinction, discord, derangement, and destruction, arise from powers meeting in conflict. Commencing in a small centre, and continuing an expansion under the form of a regularly-connected series of advancing circles, establish the principle of union or coaction, in opposition to that of confliction, competition, or repulsion; and one law or principle being applicable to all communities of people, that is, truth being of universal application, it will follow, that the interests of all associated communities of people or nations are identical; and it will follow, also, that the interests of different nations are the contrary of being identified; and that there is no principle existing by which powers, having their origin in distinct centres, and advancing from these centres, can be made to merge, to unite, and to coact; or, to move in a direction
opposite to that from which the original impulse is received. If an attempt be made to accomplish this, it must be done, as I have before explained, by means of that surplus capital, which shall be over and above the sufficiency required for performing the office of maintaining the original labourers. In order that a clear view of the operation of the great general law for which I have contended may be acquired, I will ask the reader to place a map of the whole world open for his inspection. With this map before him, let him suppose that the existence of man has just commenced on this sphere, or, that two persons only are the inhabiters of it, that these two persons and their progeny are to develop and make use of the matter before them by means of labour. The work must, of necessity, be accomplished portion after portion, or by degrees, and by mutual assistance, and under numerous divisions of employment. In conducting the process of development, the powerful though simple, law of regard for the operations of each other's labour, that is, a series of exchanges made under the rule of justice, is to be observed; thus, the increase or expansion is to be carried on from man to man, or by labour united with labour, to any conceivable extent.
Now, let him suppose further, that after the lapse of a certain time, when the number of this people has increased, that two families resolve on quitting this first or original community and compact, and on commencing a separate course of action, for which purpose they betake themselves to another and a distant part of the world. The same process of acquiring must, of necessity, be observed in this new community as was observed in the community formed first. Now, here a distinct nation will arise, and it will be obvious, that the principle of increase or advancement will be of a character precisely the same as that of the society first instanced. Thus, there will be no identity of interests existing between
the persons who compose the first community, and those who comprise the second, for this has been dissolved by the parties themselves having quitted the original association, and, as regards the stock, have ceased to afford supply and to make demand; but the LAW of action or advancement will continue the same, and will be as imperative on the persons who comprise the second community as it had been on those who comprise the first.
The people of every nation of the world have attempted, at various periods of their history, by instituting numerous commercial regulations and restrictions, to promote, in some degree, the just union of action and of interests which I have here explained; and the records of our own nation present remarkable examples of the fact, these examples appertaining to the circumstances both of our domestic and foreign relations.
But to such an extent has the selfish principle prevailed over the social, and so eager have men been to pursue their own individual interests and gratifications, that they have disregarded, evaded, opposed, and broken down, all such regulations and barriers, excepting in cases where they have thought them to be conservative of their own special interests; so that the question has been raised, whether more injury than benefit may not have been entailed on nations in general by the establishment of regulating laws. So greatly, indeed, in the prevailing human constitution, does the inclination to do wrong exceed the inclination to do right, that if it had not been for the impediment against the free, indiscriminate, or self-indulgent intercourse of the people of all nations which was so early interposed by the confusion of language, no nation on earth would have attained any considerable degree of eminence and power, not even that